Al-jazeera Vet Blasts Plans For Al-jazeera America
Al-Jazeera journalist Marwan Bishara has sent a scathing email to the network's top executives blasting the apparent decision by the Qatar-based company to construct the upcoming Al-Jazeera America (AJAM) cable network as an all-American news network with no programming content from the parent company. Portions of the email were disclosed today (Monday) by Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald (who was the first to disclose the Eric Snowden documents). In it, Bishara, Al-Jazeera's senior political analyst, condemns a poll taken in the U.S. by the network asking respondents whether they believe Al-Jazeera is anti-American. By merely posing the question, we've sent the wrong message, he writes. What does 'anti-Americanism' even mean here? How did you define anti-Americanism to those polled? Do you estimate that criticizing the American government or its policies [is] 'anti-American?' He notes that The Guardian doesn't ask Americans whether its columnists are anti-American and that Jon Stewart doesn't ask his viewers whether his current replacement, British political satirist John Oliver is anti-American -- despite the fact that Oliver is continuously ridiculing American power and at times culture. However, Paul Eedle, AJAM's deputy news and editorial director, told Greenwald that the new network's reporters will be encouraged to break free of inhibitions they might have had and feel liberated and go for the story. The network, he maintained, will not become a pale imitation of what others are doing.